New reports indicate that the Justice Department has issued a warning to the Academy for proposed rule changes targeted at streaming service Netflix.
According to Fox News:
The Justice Department has warned the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that its potential rule changes limiting the eligibility of Netflix and other streaming services for the Oscars could raise antitrust concerns and violate competition law.
According to a letter obtained by Variety, the chief of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, Makan Delrahim, wrote to AMPAS CEO Dawn Hudson on March 21 to express concerns that new rules would be written “in a way that tends to suppress competition.”
“In the event that the Academy — an association that includes multiple competitors in its membership — establishes certain eligibility requirements for the Oscars that eliminate competition without procompetitive justification, such conduct may raise antitrust concerns,” Delrahim wrote.
The letter came in response to reports that Steven Spielberg, an Academy board member, was planning to push for rules changes to Oscars eligibility, restricting movies that debut on Netflix and other streaming services around the same time that they show in theaters. Netflix made a big splash at the Oscars this year, as the movie “Roma” won best director, best foreign language film and best cinematography.
The Academy has responded, stating that they have taken the appropriate measures. It is unclear if the Justice Department will pursue an anti-trust case.